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Planning a home sale and retirement

Planning a home sale and retirement

ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis is a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.  Have a question about real estate?  Email us here

Dear Phyllis,

My wife and I are hoping to sell our home and retire. We have a significant amount of equity in our home which represents nearly half of our net worth. We need to move somewhere where housing prices are much cheaper. Where do we begin? How do you suggest planning a home sale and retirement?

Empty Nesters

Dear Empty Nesters,

You are right to be cautious; I have had a few clients relocate only to be extremely unhappy with their new destination. If you and your wife are very active, be wary of retirement communities, I have had clients move there only to decide that everyone was too old. If I were to relocate, I would miss our climate more than anything. I have family in Washington State and I know I would not be happy there. I have other relatives in the south, and I could not stand living with their insects. Hopefully you are not as fussy as I.

Do you have children, grandchildren or other family members in outlying areas? If so, that will be a good place to start. Or perhaps you have friends who retired in other communities? Are they happy? Might you visit them and spend some time and try to imagine your lifestyle in their neighborhood?

I have had other clients opt to work a few extra years and then simply downsize locally. Have you considered remaining in an outlying less expensive community and or condo living? In this scenario, you might keep the same doctors, hairdressers, friends, etc.

Most real estate agents work with relocation directors and perhaps an interview with one would be beneficial. If you are unsure, proceed with caution. Maybe consider packing up your home, renting it and living simply for a few months in different areas. The costs associated with buying, selling and moving can be significant. If you make the wrong move it can be very costly to undo.

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Sam
Sam
5 months ago

Thanks for the timely (for us) discussion. We are often tempted to relocate or downsize, especially since we have a two story home that could become an issue as we age. But as you have stated we always wind up deferring the decision due to the costs and effort involved in moving

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